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AMD quickly updates ATI Stream SDK to OpenCL 1.1

Fusion chips lurch closer to reality

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AMD has upgraded its ATI Stream SDK adding full OpenCL 1.1 support to the CPU/GPU development platform while also embracing Ubuntu 10.04, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5.

That was quick. OpenCL version 1.1 — the latest open source standard for munging CPU and GPU powers to allow for streamlining of highly parallel software development — was ratified in mid-June.

"Availability of the ATI Stream SDK v2.2 with OpenCL 1.1 support is a great example of how CPU and GPU technology continues to mature and usher in next-generation computing experiences," AMD director of Stream Computing Patricia Harrell said in a company statement.

Harrell also put a company spin on the announcement, adding: "The enhancements in the ATI Stream SDK v2.2 are especially important due to the support for OpenCL 1.1, which is integral to the forthcoming AMD Fusion family of APUs."

If you haven't been following AMD's contributions to computerese, an APU is the company's abbreviation for accelerated processing unit, an amalgam of CPU and GPU cores plus accelerators such as video processors on a single chip.

It's also the name of a hard-working manager of a certain Kwik-E-Mart, but we digress...

In addition to support for OpenCL 1.1 and the embrace of Ubuntu and RHEL among it supported platforms, ATI Stream SDK v2.2 expands Linux and Windows compiler support and includes a host of other upgrades, which you can peruse here. A full listing of system requirements can be found here, and a download is available here.

AMD's Fusion APUs, to borrow Harrell's term, have been "forthcoming" for some time. The company first began talking about the project after it acquired ATI back in 2006.

Initially, Fusion chips were scheduled to hit the market in late 2008 or early 2009, but when the first Fusion APU was demoed this year at Computex, AMD Product Group general manager Rick Bergman said in a statement that the formal launch of the line is now "scheduled for the first half of in [sic] 2011." ®

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